Understanding the Proposed UK Settlement Scheme for EU Nationals post-Brexit
What: The UK government and EU have agreed on a deal for EU citizens and UK nationals regarding residence status. The agreement, titled the EU Settlement Scheme, will guarantee that after the UK’s planned departure from the EU on March 29, 2019, EU citizens (along with family) in the UK and UK citizens (along with family) in the EU can continue their residence status without disruption. The Withdrawal Agreement also covers what happens during the period immediately after the UK leaves the EU, known as the implementation period. This period will run from 30 March 2019 to 31 December 2020.
In order to secure their rights, EU citizens will be required to apply for settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme. The scheme will open fully by 30 March 2019.
Despite the proposed agreement between the EU and the UK’s negotiators, the UK parliament has not agreed to the above. Therefore, this agreement remains pending until the Parliament agrees to move forward in this capacity.
Who Is Affected: All Aires clients with EU citizens in the UK
For EU citizens to maintain UK residence status under the EU Settlement Scheme:
- EU citizens and their family members who, by 31 December 2020, have been a continuous resident in the UK for five years will be eligible for “Settled Status,” enabling them to stay indefinitely.
- EU citizens and their family members who arrive by 31 December 2020 but will not yet have been continuously resident here for five years will be eligible for “Pre-settled Status,” enabling them to stay until they have reached the five-year threshold. After the five-year milestone is met, they can then apply for Settled Status.
- Close family members (a spouse, civil partner, partner, dependent child or grandchild, and dependent parent or grandparent) living overseas will still be able to join an EU citizen resident here after the end of the implementation period (31 December 2020), where the relationship existed on 31 December 2020 and continues to exist when the person wishes to come to the UK. Future children are also protected.
Obtaining status under the scheme means EU citizens can continue to live and work in the UK as they normally do now.
Also, they will still be eligible for benefits such as:
- Public services, such as healthcare and schools
- Public funds and pensions
- British citizenship, if they meet the requirements
Red Flags Regarding Settled Status or Pre-settled Status:
- EU citizens living in the UK are not protected unless they make an application for Settled Status to the Home Office via the EU Settlement Scheme.
- It does not automatically happen.
- Failing to apply will mean that EU citizens end up with no legal rights to live and work in the UK.
This update was compiled in conjunction with Aires’ trusted UK immigration partner, Smith Stone Walters. For more information, please reach out to your Aires’ Immigration Specialist or contact a representative of Smith Stone Walters directly.
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